Zack Gelof

Young A's star Gelof reveals three MLB players he tries to emulate

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Programming note: Brodie Brazil's full "All A's" interview with Zack Gelof will air at 3 p.m. PT Tuesday on NBC Sports California, and again at 9:30 p.m. PT.

Since Oakland called up Zack Gelof from Triple-A Las Vegas last July, the second baseman has emerged as one of MLB’s promising young stars and a valuable building block for the Athletics organization.

To continue his upward trajectory, the 24-year-old idolizes certain players and incorporates baseball’s best into his developing game.

When talking to NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil on a recent episode of “All A’s,” the young infielder listed three MLB players he tries to emulate.

“For me, I have really tried to emulate my game over three guys: [New York Yankees’] DJ LeMahieu, [Texas Rangers’] Marcus Semien and [Philadelphia Phillies’] Trea Turner.”

Gelof’s list of active role models makes sense, considering the trio only consists of big-time infielders. 

LeMahieu, Semien and Turner have combined to earn seven MLB All-Star nods and five Silver Slugger awards as some of the smoothest two-way players in the game for years, continuously inspiring Gelof.

“DJ, just being one of the best hitters in the game and being a really tall infielder, you know, won a Gold Glove,” Gelof added. “And then you got Marcus Semien, who shows up every day and has gotten better, and obviously, a former A who has been super successful [and] a World Series champ now. And then Trea Turner, with how smooth he is. I feel like when I’m loose and athletic, I play my best. 

“So, I try to have a little bit of each of those guys.”

The three stars have been major influences on Gelof, who was last August’s AL Rookie of the Month after slashing .286/.350/.562 with eight doubles, seven home runs and 15 RBI over 27 games. 

But Semien, in particular, stands out to Gelof as an Oakland icon and a predecessor. 

“What [Marcus] has done has been super cool to watch -- just his career, in general," Gelof told Brazil. "He shows up every day. I feel like that’s the ultimate teammate, when a guy can show up every day for 160 games and give it his best. That’s something that’s super tough to do. I don’t know how Cal Ripken [Jr.] did it for all those years.”

Excluding the 2017 MLB season when Semien missed three months with a broken right wrist, the six-year A's infielder played in 97 percent of regular-season games, or 688 of a possible 708. 

Now in his his first full MLB season, Gelof hopes to be as available as Semien. 

“Just showing up every day, I think, is going to be something I want to be known for,” Gelof concluded.

Gelof has struggled to begin the 2024 MLB season with a .261 OBP. But with his determination and choices of idols, surely he’ll get back on track and be an everyday player for years to come.

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